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Over 25 years ago, Willy found a love for authentic Mexican food in San Francisco’s Mission District. He felt so strongly about sharing the flavors he was introduced to, that he took them all the way to the east coast, right to Atlanta. There, he opened his first Willy’s Mexicana Grill in 1995, and since then has expanded all over Georgia.

Willy’s travels and flavor explorations didn’t stop there, though. He visited Nashville and discovered another favorite — Hot Chicken. We’re talking spicy, crispy, juicy fried chicken that’ll knock your boots off. A truly craveable wonder of the world.

He loved the taste and was inspired to create his own hot chicken recipe and take it to the next level. With his extensive knowledge of chili peppers, he began experimenting with different ones to get that holy grail combination of heat and flavor. After many attempts and some blown-out taste buds, Willy was ready to unveil his recipes and give Atlanta his take on Nashville Hot Chicken.

In spring of 2021, Howlin’ Willy’s opened its doors inside the Willy’s Mexicana Grill Piedmont Park location. The following year, the spicy sister opened strong in Hapeville and continues to grow with its third location coming to North Druid Hills in early 2023.


Flavor, fun and friendship is what we're serving up!

We’ve been accomplishing that mission for over two decades as part of the Willy’s brand, by working with great people who share our core values.

We’re flavor freaks & proud of it! Every item our guests hold in their hands is held to the highest standards by those who fry it up!

Every day is an opportunity to show off your A-game. No matter how much fun we have, we’re always focused and servin’ chicken with a purpose.

Life is spicy and fun. When one of us is having a great time, we all have a great time, so we always work with a smile.

Willy’s is home for us, our guests, and our community. We work together to create an environment of belonging and acceptance for everyone.